Stress & Skin 101

Stress & Skin 101
It was an A-ha moment for me when I realized that my breakouts and dry skin patches were often tied to stress. Most of us have switched from a product we've used for years because of a random breakout. But the breakout was more likely due to stress than the product. While synthetic formulations can irritate skin, most often stress is the number one driver of a sudden occurrence of troubled skin. Our skin is the easiest and fastest way for our body to talk to us.  It is our body's gentle "voice," often reminding us to make better choices with our mental priorities. If we don't listen to our skin, then we allow stress to manifest in other ways, like muscle spasms, headaches, and other "louder" forms of our body starting to yell at us.


The US National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institute for Health,  explains further, "Stressful events and negative emotions can have clinically significant consequences for many aspects of the immune response, including inflammation...The central nervous system (CNS), the endocrine system, and the immune system interact with each other, and a variety of stressors ranging from academic examinations to marital conflict to caregiving for an impaired family member can dysregulate the immune response by affecting the interplay of these systems. These stress-related immune alterations can be consequential for health; they can also enhance susceptibility to infectious agents and influence the severity of infectious disease, diminish the strength of immune responses to vaccines, reactivate latent herpes viruses, and slow wound healing."

The simple explanation is that how we feel affects how we look. This is something we've all heard from our moms and grandmothers, but do we actively strive to compensate for the daily stressors of today's lifestyle?  Below are three ways I'm working to help manage how stress shows up in my body, and most visibly to others, in my skin. Before you decide how to add a new stress-busting-skin-clearing activity to your day, please consider to choose what feels the most natural to add to your routine.
1) Meditation - Meditation deserves its own blog posts. Probably deserves to have 10 of its own blog posts because meditation is the single most impactful act you can do to reprogram your stress response.  Five minutes a day has been proven to reduce the impact of stress as well as reduce your likelihood of reacting to a stress-inducing situation.  I aim to do my daily five minutes of Kriya Yoga Breathing (my personal choice of meditation) in the morning before starting my day. It helps me approach the day in gratitude and grounded in soul-awareness.
2) Pure Omega-3 Fish Oil - Adding a daily pure Omega-3 Supplement with a minimum of 500 EPA and 200 DHA. I take the daily dose of 2 Arkadiance Omega-3 Radiance Capsules.  The National Library of Medicine is linked in the article which states, "Dietary omega-3 influences inflammation and may also modulate the magnitude of inflammatory responses to stressful events."
3) "Green Exercise" - Whether its a leisurely walk or an intense bike-ride, just being in natural among trees reduces cortisol levels and stress short-term and long-term. I noticed a huge difference in boosted energy and joy throughout this past winter when soaking up the plant-powered views on my walks and runs. 
I hope reading this helps you lean into caring for yourself a bit more in a stress-busting, healthy way. The unfortunate truth is that most of us jump to care for others before we take care of ourselves. I'm definitely still fresh on the journey of prioritizing stress-busting self care but I love sharing what I find with you through these blogs.
Wishing you Radiance and Joy,

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